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PHIL 102 Lecture Notes - Justin Bieber, Thought Experiment, Fetus

Course Code
PHIL 102
Dominic Mc Iver Lopes

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1. building opponent’s argument
2. argument against abortion
3. thought experiment
4. right to life
5. responsibility
1. Thomson grants that a fetus is a person from conception
!-the more you build your opponent’s argument, the bigger impact you’ll have
!when you show that it still doesn’t work
2. her opponent’s argument:
a) all people have a right to live
b) all fetuses are people
c) fetuses have a right to life
d) all women have a right to decide (what happens to her body)
e) a person’s right to life outweighs a woman’s right to decide
f) conclusion: abortion is morally impermissible
3. thought experiment
!-if you wake up attached to Justin Beiber, who needs to stay attached to your
!kidneys for 9 months to survive. do you unplug yourself? if yes, then you should
!be in favour of abortion
!-replace fetus with pop star, and abortion with unplugging yourself
-parity of reasoning
!-we’ll have to figure out what these are..
!-eg. that the pop star and fetus are different
!-the chocolate box and right to live are different? they don’t have a ‘right’ to the
4. the right to life
a) bare minimum needed for life
!-eg. Justin Beiber needs to use your kidneys, which he isn’t entitled to
!-definition of the right to life is based on the minimum need; so what happens
!when you don’t have a right to what you need?
b) right not to be killed unjustly
!-it’s not sufficient to argue that abortion shouldn’t be performed; you have to
!show that abortion is unjust killing
!-need to look at responsibility
5. responsibility
!-is abortion unjust killing?
!-is a woman responsible for getting pregnant?
!-premise 1: if a woman is responsible for getting pregnant then she bestows the
!fetus with a right to use her body
!-premise 2: it’s unjust to take away the right
!-conclusion: abortion is unjust killing
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